HELPP!!! I Think My Baby Sulcata Get MBD

Gerhald Kuswandi

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Nov 10, 2020
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Hi I need help and answer ASAP because I think my 2 months old baby Sulcata is having MBD!

Recently I just checked the plastron and the carapace and they are really soft when I press it gently and also the plastron is getting these black color and I can see through his shell when I place him under a flashlight. He also is not as active when he first arrived here. Usually he woke twice a day but now my sulcata is just sleeping almost all day long. He also losing appetite,every time I gave him food he only take a few bites and then leave or back to sleep.
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-02 at 18.13.51.jpeg
You can see some black color on top part of the plastron. And they weren't there 2 months ago,the plastron was clear and bright.
WhatsApp Image 2020-12-02 at 18.13.51 (1).jpeg
This is how he looks like from the front after soak. Yes he is having a flu and he's on treatment.

And also he haven't grow an inch,still 5cm/1,9" even though I treat him good from soaking,exposing him to sunlight every single morning.

I hope you understand my grammar and the problem I'm having here,thank you!
 

KarenSoCal

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I'm so sorry your baby is sick!

How long have you actually had him? Who told you he's 2 months old?

Have you weighed him? Please do that (in grams) and tell us.

What kind of substrate, lights, and heating are you using? What are the temperatures in his enclosure? 4 temps...basking, cool side, warm side, and overnight low? He needs to be kept warmer than usual while he's sick. After he's well, keep him extra warm for 2 weeks after all the symptoms are gone.

What are you giving him for the respiratory infection?

When you soak him, get some baby food...strained/pureed carrots. Add the baby food to his warm soak water 50/50. Hopefully he will drink some of it in the soak to get some nutrition, and it is good for his eyes. Use the carrots one time each day.

What's going on with his shells is not MBD. His carapace should be getting pretty hard by now. The plastron stays a bit soft for a while. Does the plastron feel firm like a plastic lid, or does it feel squishy soft like a sponge? Do you give him a calcium supplement in addition to his food? He should be getting a small pinch of it twice a week.

Get back to us with these answers, and others will give more opinions and suggestions. But make sure his temps are up and get him on the carrot soaks as soon as possible.
 

Gerhald Kuswandi

New Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Bengkulu City,Bengkulu,Indonesia
I'm so sorry your baby is sick!

How long have you actually had him? Who told you he's 2 months old?

Have you weighed him? Please do that (in grams) and tell us.

What kind of substrate, lights, and heating are you using? What are the temperatures in his enclosure? 4 temps...basking, cool side, warm side, and overnight low? He needs to be kept warmer than usual while he's sick. After he's well, keep him extra warm for 2 weeks after all the symptoms are gone.

What are you giving him for the respiratory infection?

When you soak him, get some baby food...strained/pureed carrots. Add the baby food to his warm soak water 50/50. Hopefully he will drink some of it in the soak to get some nutrition, and it is good for his eyes. Use the carrots one time each day.

What's going on with his shells is not MBD. His carapace should be getting pretty hard by now. The plastron stays a bit soft for a while. Does the plastron feel firm like a plastic lid, or does it feel squishy soft like a sponge? Do you give him a calcium supplement in addition to his food? He should be getting a small pinch of it twice a week.

Get back to us with these answers, and others will give more opinions and suggestions. But make sure his temps are up and get him on the carrot soaks as soon as possible.
Hi First of all thank you for the response!

I had him since October 2nd, I know his age from the seller and it still has a little yolk sac when it first arrived here. I haven't weighed him because I don't have the tool,I might search for it.

For the substrate I use newspaper. Because apparently here in Indonesia it's pretty hard to locate coco husk,wood chips,etc. Most of pet store here are only sells dogs and cats needs because reptiles aren't really popular here.
For the lights I use the UVB Halogen Lamp that I bought from China and the temperature is always between 29°C to 33°C/80F-90F.

For the flu I gave him Rept Nose that I got from local petstore and his nose has looks better in past 2 weeks.

The plastron feel like a plastic lid actually. I gave him cuttlebone powder that I mixed with his veggies. But the problem is sometimes he only took a few bites when the food is mixed with the calcium powder and seems like he doesn't like it. Oh yeah last thing,in 2 months I only see urates out of his body only once. Is that also something that I have to worry?
 

Blackdog1714

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Please read the following article for how to keep your baby tort
 

TammyJ

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If you stay here and follow all the good advice you have been given, your tortoise will have the best possible chance to survive and thrive.
 

Tom

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Hi I need help and answer ASAP because I think my 2 months old baby Sulcata is having MBD!

Recently I just checked the plastron and the carapace and they are really soft when I press it gently and also the plastron is getting these black color and I can see through his shell when I place him under a flashlight. He also is not as active when he first arrived here. Usually he woke twice a day but now my sulcata is just sleeping almost all day long. He also losing appetite,every time I gave him food he only take a few bites and then leave or back to sleep.
View attachment 312093
You can see some black color on top part of the plastron. And they weren't there 2 months ago,the plastron was clear and bright.
View attachment 312094
This is how he looks like from the front after soak. Yes he is having a flu and he's on treatment.

And also he haven't grow an inch,still 5cm/1,9" even though I treat him good from soaking,exposing him to sunlight every single morning.

I hope you understand my grammar and the problem I'm having here,thank you!
You seem to have several misconceptions...

I keep hearing about this flashlight test from Asian countries. Seeing light through the tortoises body doesn't mean anything. If I put my thumb up to the flashlight lens I can see through my thumb. This doesn't mean my thumb has MBD. This is not a "thing".

Halogen bulbs don't make UV. Are you using a halogen bulb, or a UV bulb? Either is the wrong bulb for basking.

Tortoises don't get the flu like humans. If they are sick, there is a reason. Usually cold nights. When babies get sick, the things vets do to treat them usually kill them. Babies can't handle meds, and if cared for correctly they don't need them.

29-33C is fine for ambient temps, but they need a basking area that is 36-37.

There is almost no UV in morning sun. UV is strongest mid day.

If your baby still had a yolk sac when you bought him, it means it was not started correctly and sold much too soon. Few people start them correctly anywhere in the world.

Start by reading this:

After that, questions are welcome.
 

Gerhald Kuswandi

New Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Bengkulu City,Bengkulu,Indonesia
You seem to have several misconceptions...

I keep hearing about this flashlight test from Asian countries. Seeing light through the tortoises body doesn't mean anything. If I put my thumb up to the flashlight lens I can see through my thumb. This doesn't mean my thumb has MBD. This is not a "thing".

Halogen bulbs don't make UV. Are you using a halogen bulb, or a UV bulb? Either is the wrong bulb for basking.

Tortoises don't get the flu like humans. If they are sick, there is a reason. Usually cold nights. When babies get sick, the things vets do to treat them usually kill them. Babies can't handle meds, and if cared for correctly they don't need them.

29-33C is fine for ambient temps, but they need a basking area that is 36-37.

There is almost no UV in morning sun. UV is strongest mid day.

If your baby still had a yolk sac when you bought him, it means it was not started correctly and sold much too soon. Few people start them correctly anywhere in the world.

Start by reading this:

After that, questions are welcome.
Hi Tom,thanks for the response and help. But now I can really confirm it's MBD. The carapace and plastron are really soft,even when I just want to pick him up I can feel how soft his carapace is. He doesn't want to eat anymore with veggies and pellets that I used to gave him. Everyday his condition getting worse and worse. Have a thought to bring him to a vet but apparently vet around here only for cats and dogs,they don't accept reptile such as tortoise. I don't know what to do anymore,lost hope to treat him;(
My fault,I never have a tortoise before and I started with baby sulcata that's pretty hard to take care of.
 

KarenSoCal

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This isn't MBD. This is the fault of the breeder that did not care properly for him right after he hatched. Then sold him before he was ready to go. We call it "hatchling failure syndrome", but it really should be "breeder failure syndrome". And I believe you are correct...there is nothing else to do but keep him as comfortable as possible and let him know that he is loved.

There was nothing you could have done to save this baby. No vet could have helped him. THIS WAS NOT YOUR FAULT!! Here is info on what happened to your tort. I think it will sound familiar...


I hope that after some time, you will consider trying again. Use the time to study all the info we've given you, and get a proper closed chamber up and running and fine tuned with perfect temps and humidity. Then get another baby from someone different.
 

Gerhald Kuswandi

New Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Bengkulu City,Bengkulu,Indonesia
This isn't MBD. This is the fault of the breeder that did not care properly for him right after he hatched. Then sold him before he was ready to go. We call it "hatchling failure syndrome", but it really should be "breeder failure syndrome". And I believe you are correct...there is nothing else to do but keep him as comfortable as possible and let him know that he is loved.

There was nothing you could have done to save this baby. No vet could have helped him. THIS WAS NOT YOUR FAULT!! Here is info on what happened to your tort. I think it will sound familiar...


I hope that after some time, you will consider trying again. Use the time to study all the info we've given you, and get a proper closed chamber up and running and fine tuned with perfect temps and humidity. Then get another baby from someone different.
Hi Karen,I think I have a good news. This morning I soaked him under morning sunlight and gave him water spinach that I mixed with cuttlebone powder. And it's really a surprise for me,he ate them,A LOT. I never see him like this for like a month. Any chance he will survive if I still treat him and give him additional calcium?
 

KarenSoCal

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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Wonderful news! I'm so excited for you!

Keep giving him carrot soaks for another 2-3 days. If he is eating well, stop them. If he slows down on eating, continue them.

Make sure his temps are at the proper settings. If it's a little warmer, that's OK. Do not let temps fall lower than 80°F at night.

It is possible to give him too much calcium. If he gets too much, then he loses the ability to utilize other minerals that he needs. He only needs a small pinch of calcium 2-3 times a week. Please don't give him more than that.

Have his eyes opened at all?

Do you have a small scale like what's used in the kitchen? It would be very good to weigh him (in grams). That's how we can keep track of how he's doing overall.

Some tortoises do survive this. Yours is still very sick, but eating is a big step forward. Have you read the care sheet linked in post # 7? Are you keeping his enclosure humid? Is there anything in it that you are having trouble understanding?

Perfect care is needed at this point in time. The only way he has a chance to pull through is if his environment is exactly what he needs.

I'd like to see another couple of pictures. One of his carapace (top shell) and one of his plastron (bottom shell), and one of his face.

Keep coming back and asking questions! I want to see this baby make it!
 
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